If you’ve ever walked by Liquid Vitamin C supplements at the store or seen the vitamin C content of a food advertised on the packaging, you may have wondered why vitamin C is so important to human health. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays several roles in growth, development and maintaining health on a regular basis. Because it’s water-soluble, the body only stores a small reserve of it at any given time, meaning consuming vitamin C regularly is essential to preventing deficiencies. If you’re curious about this interesting vitamin and the role it plays in keeping your body in peak health, here are a few fascinating facts you might not have known.

1. It Acts as an Antioxidant

You may have heard about antioxidants, nutrients that help protect you from the damage that free radicals cause. Free radicals are formed when your body is exposed to factors like tobacco smoke, radiation or when you’re breaking down food. Research has demonstrated that free radicals are one of the primary causes of the aging process, and may even be a factor in the development of conditions like arthritis, heart disease or cancer that are often associated with aging. When you consume enough antioxidants like vitamin C on a regular basis, you can help fight off some of these free radicals to prevent these diseases and avoid speeding up the aging process more than necessary. Keep in mind that since your body does not make vitamin C by itself, you’ll have to consume it regularly through your diet to prevent shortages.

2. It Helps Repair Bodily Tissues

All throughout your body, vitamin C helps with tissue growth and repair. It plays a key role in speeding up wound healing time and helping your body form scar tissue, for instance. It may also help with absorbing iron, which is essential in preventing conditions like anemia. Furthermore, it’s been shown to help your body repair cartilage, teeth and bones, which keeps you strong and helps stave off osteoporosis.

3. It Could Help With the Common Cold

If you’ve ever had the common cold and been told that you should take vitamin C to get better quicker, you may have wondered why this is. While the jury is still out as to whether vitamin C reduces the risk of getting a cold, there is some evidence that taking supplements regularly could shorten your illness when you do get the common cold. It can at least help reduce your symptoms. In this case, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the benefits come when you take a supplement regularly. To date, there is little or no evidence that starting to take vitamin C after you’re already gotten a cold is helpful.

4. It’s Helpful for Your Skin

Finally, you may be interested to know that consuming adequate vitamin C regularly has been shown to help boost your body’s production of collagen. Collagen is a key protein that forms your skin, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons. Enough collagen is the key to plump, youthful-looking skin, so making sure you get your daily vitamin C can help keep your skin looking its best as you get older.

If your mother ever scolded you for not finishing your fruit as a kid and you wondered why getting enough vitamin C was so important, you now know that the water-soluble vitamin plays a plethora of roles in promoting development and maintaining good health. The next time you’re going grocery shopping or picking out your supplements, keep these key facts in mind. When you’re getting enough vitamin C, you help your body take the best possible care of itself.

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